The 10.1-inch tablet runs Android Honeycomb 3.1 and will be available with three different size hard drives.
The crowded tablet market is
about to receive another entry, this time from Toshiba. The company's Thrive
tablet, long expected but largely a mystery device, will debut July 10 with a
tiered-pricing structure, starting at $429.
The 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) tablet
runs Android 3.1 and features a front-facing 2.1-megapixel camera and
5-megapixel rear-facing camera for photos and video conferencing. The Thrive
will be offered with three storage size options, 8GB ($429), 16GB ($479) and
32GB ($579) models.
Toshiba's entry also offers
a slew of connectivity ports, including a built-in HDMI (High-Definition
Multimedia Interface) out port, USB, mini USB and an SD card slot, resulting in
a slightly thicker frame (0.6 pounds) than some of its competitors. The company
said battery life should clock in between six and seven hours, allowing for
continuous full HD playback. The device is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2
dual-core processor and sports a back cover that can be swapped out for one of
a different color.
The competitive tablet
market, still dominated by Apple and its iPad and iPad 2 models, helped
worldwide PC shipments increase 7 percent during the first quarter, according
to research firm Canalys, which includes tablets in its counts of PC sales.
Apple accounted for 74 percent of the tablet market during the quarter, the
report added, despite iPad shipments being down 31 percent sequentially.
Global tablet revenue is now
expected to reach $49 billion by 2015, according to an April 19 report from
Strategy Analytics. Markets in North America, the Asia-Pacific and Western
Europe are expected to lead the massive growth in tablet revenue, according to
the company. Up from zero in 2009, 2015 global revenue from the Apple iPad and
its legion of followers, said the research firm, would "exceed those of every
consumer electronics category except TVs and PCs by 2015."
A recent Canalys consumer
survey additionally shed light on the life of tablets beyond the sales counter,
finding that, more than as a media player or e-reader, they're being used in
ways that resemble PCs. While tablet owners reported using them primarily for
Web browsing, emailing and messaging, and social networking, non-tablet owners
suspected the devices were more heavily used as e-readers and to watch videos.
An April survey of small and
midsize businesses found that owners are accelerating the shift away from
desktops and laptops and moving toward the latest technology and gadgets such
as smartphones and tablets. The report also showed how SMB owners are
significantly increasing their use of and reliance on technology, especially
the Internet, as a critical business tool.
Thirty-seven percent of SMB
owners responded that they have used a smartphone or a PDA in the past year, an
increase of 10 percent over 2010, according to the survey. When asked about
iPads and applications, 9 percent responded that they have used an iPad, and 31
percent responded that they used applications for business. SMB owners have
decreased their use of desktops, notebooks/netbooks and laptops from last year.